Untitled Sermon (2)
Good morning First Baptist Church Counce, has not the worship been fantastic this morning? Let’s thank all those who have helped make it possible. Thank you guys for helping bring us into the presence of God and give God all glory this morning!
I am honored to be able to proclaim the word this morning before you all on our Senior Recognition Sunday. Have you ever wondered, how to handle some situations wisely? The question of wisdom is one of utmost importance for all of us. surrounded with mystery and we are going to watch a master of wisdom pass judgement on a difficult situation. For those taking notes, the title of the sermon is A Perplexing Situation and we will be in . But first, who is this individual? He is the son of King David, his name, Solomon who by the way is 12 years old when given the responsibility of being King. There are a few significant notes needed to be made here. First, in the first three years of his rule Solomon has had people killed due to their disobedience and their past evil dealings. Secondly, He has married Pharaohs daughter. Third, Solomon is granted by God wisdom and is faced with a perplexing situation. We are not sure exactly how old he is at this time but it is reasonable to place him between 15-17 years old. It is here that two women arguing about who’s child the living boy was comes before him.
16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king. 23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’ ”
1) If we are to be wise, we must approach some problems with an unconventional approach. ()
24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
King Solomon is a new King and has just asked God for wisdom so that he can lead well. Here he is faced with a difficult situation. He must come to a conclusion to solve this perplexing problem.
It was not uncommon for people to bring difficult problems to the king. We see it a couple of times in 2 Samuel. The first being , where Nathan tells David of a man who has wronged another man, where David placed judgement on the man who was in the wrong, which was him after all. Additionally, shows us that it was not uncommon for people to approach the king over matters. Yes, contextually both passages deal with sin that was in King David’s heart but the fact that Nathan and Joab both used metaphorical issues to reveal issues to David is enough evidence to prove that it was not uncommon for tough issues to be addressed by the king.
Exposition of the Text:
In this case, king Solomon has taken over as king, he is still new to all the responsibilities and has just asked God to give him wisdom to lead well. Immediately, he is faced with a difficult case. He listens to the issue and quickly decides that his only option is to cut the child in half, allowing both women to have the child.
King Solomon’s approach is unquestionably difficult to fathom. I can imagine that the people before the king are all slightly shocked that the king desired to have a sword brought to him. I can hear the servants whispering amongst themselves, "what is King Solomon thinking asking for a sword in this situation?” King David would never order such a cruel order. Of course none of them dared to defy the order, thus, they quickly brought the sword to him only to have the king shock them further when he demands them to divide the child, or cut the child in half. The Hebrew word here is Gazar, and is used in the imperative meaning it was an order from the king!
Nothing about the order was conventional. Clearly, the result of this order is the death of the child over the quibble of the two women.
If anything we are guaranteed problems and difficult situations in life. These things only increase the longer you live and the more responsibility you face. One of those situations might just be with an uncooperative computer which was the case for a lady named Gwen Betts. She writes,
"I noticed that the machine was hot to the touch. For whatever reason, my machine could not stay cool. Was it bloated software, not enough ram, older processor, bad hard drive? I couldn’t tell. I was in the middle of a big project and could not afford to lose the machine for a week. The problem solver in me set out the find a short-term solution.
I began my career in technical support, so you always start with what you know: ask a question, determine a cause, and solve. You seek out the simplest solutions first.
The computer was slow and hot. Were these conditions correlated?
The first goal was to cool down the computer. We didn’t have any small fans or ice packs, but we did have a package of unopened pizza rolls. I’m also a runner, and commonly use frozen goods to ice my knee. The light bulb kicked on, and next thing you know, I strapped those babies onto the back of my computer! It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it worked.
“But, Gwen! Sanitation!” I know, I know. It sounds a touch gross, but it did in fact work. My computer continued to have heat problems beyond this. Despite many tests and experiments, the pizza rolls were the overall champ in cooling down my beloved iMac. A month later, my machine eventually did bite the dust: hard drive failure. C'est la vie! (And thankful that we moved all projects to DropBox years prior.)
I bring up this example to illustrate a point: Sometimes, you have to solve problems in very unconventional ways. It may not always be the cleanest or most popular solution, but there will always be circumstances at play that may be beyond your control. In my case, I could not properly diagnose my computer at a shop due to deadlines."
We must think outside the box sometimes, in order to get things done and other times it is so that we can reconcile a divided relationship. Jesus, when he was being criticized and told he was doing works and casting out demons from the power of Beelzebul, tells the people in
"24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
The same is true in our homes, churches and communities. We absolutely must approach our conflicts with an approach that is viewed by the world as unconventional. We must ask for reconciliation even when we might feel we aren't the party in the wrong. We must be peace makers. Ultimately, that is the pursuit of King Solomon. He is trying to judge justly.
Is King Solomon really wanting to cut the child in half? Of course not, he is looking for a response and the response will guide him to the proof he needs to make a just judgement. Thus, not only do some problems require unconventional approaches to be wise, secondly,
2) If we are to be wise, we must approach all situations with a careful assessment. (1 Kings 26-27)
King Solomon knew he needed to carefully assess the situation and examine the evidence carefully if he was to find the true mother. He knew the only way to do so was to utilize one of the most powerful forces on earth. A mother’s maternal instinct.
An article by, Tejas Patel tells of a woman who became a hero. The story is centered in Japan after one of their major earthquakes.
After the Earthquake had subsided, the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supported by an object. The collapsed house had crashed into her back and her head.
With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.
He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reason, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruined house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his hand through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body. Suddenly, he screamed with excitement,” A child! There is a child!”
The whole team worked together; carefully they removed the piles of ruined objects around the dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a flowery blanket under his mother’s dead body. Obviously, the woman had made an ultimate sacrifice for saving her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover to protect her son. The little boy was still sleeping peacefully when the team leader picked him up.
The medical doctor came quickly to exam the little boy. After he opened the blanket, he saw a cell phone inside the blanket. There was a text message on the screen. It said,” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” This cell phone was passed around from one hand to another. Every body that read the message wept. ” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” Such is the mother’s love for her child!
The mother of this child loved her son enough to sacrifice not only her happiness but also her life to save her son. The woman in this passage of scripture likewise was willing to sacrifice raising her child if it meant he was able to live while the other woman had the audacity to desire the child to be split into two halves killing the child. Solomon had all the proof he needed to cast down the judgment on the case. The woman who was willing to give up the child so that he could live was the true mother. He carefully used the resources he was given to address the situation.
In life we are not always given all the facts before a decision must be made. Many times there are many missing elements that are vital for determining our course of action. We then are faced with a choice, make a haste decision or wisely assess the situation. For all of our lives we are faced with decisions that will affect our lives forever. The ultimate question becomes how are you going to handle them? Are you going to wisely assess all the information available and pray about each decision or are you going to merely make choices based of your feelings and be found unwise? Ultimately, we must pray for wisdom and discernment and then have enough sense to apply it.
21 Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
We must be a people who walk straight and are found wise because of our pursuit of Christ.
Clearly, we see that King Solomon is a man who demonstrated the wisdom the Lord had given him. It is the wisdom of Solomon that spreads quickly amongst the people where all heard and were in awe of the wisdom God had granted him. Look at verse 28,
28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.”
His wisdom was granted so that he might rule well and it is through this ruling hand that he gives judgement on this perplexing situation. Ultimately, God alone can grant the kind of wisdom we need to make it through life glorifying him. Before we can have the wisdom God desires us to have, we must first be saved.
Maybe you are here this morning because you were invited and you hear this story about Solomon and might have the thought of what in the world splitting a baby in half? Wisdom? What does this have to do with me?
The King Solomon was a man who knew he needed God to be with him as he ruled the people. Much like we need God to save us from our sin. The Bible defines sin as disobedience of God’s laws. See God is the one true King of this world and he rules with a just hand. Because of His love for us though, he sent his Son to die for us on the Cross. states that “if you confess with your moth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I want to invite you to do that this morning. Cry out to God and acknowledge Him as your God.
Yet, others here this morning, know and love God so much. But they have found themselves lost in the valley of darkness. They are in dire need of hope and wisdom on how to travel the tough land. James tells us in
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Simply ask God for the wisdom you need and you will be granted it. Maybe, the wisdom you need is just coming back to Jesus. Laying down the sin that has crept into your heart and asking God to destroy it.
Maybe you have been coming a while and just really have been battling whether to join this body of Christ. I would love to invite you to come and join.
Ultimately, make today the day you so no longer will I rely on my earthly self but I am wholly trusting Jesus.
Come to Jesus, there is no better place to be.